Inside COVID-19

Discovery and BizNews have partnered to take you Inside COVID-19. The dynamic Alec Hogg interviews a wide array of experts, extracting brilliant and rational perspectives on the latest news around COVID-19 and its impact on the lives of all South Africans.

Ep 56

Inside Covid-19: Existential battle looms as companies take on their insurers in SA, US and elsewhere. Ep 56

In episode 56 of Inside Covid-19, we get perspective on the surge in South African coronavirus infections and mortalities; take an in depth look at an existential battle between companies and their insurers both here in South Africa and the United States; and hear the sobering news that despite a $130bn direct cash injection for 5m businesses from the American Government, between 20% and 30% of them are still expected to go bankrupt. - Alec Hogg

Ep 55

Inside Covid 19: Prof Linda-Gail Bekker; Tobacco insider Azeem Carim; Dr Jonathan Quick. Ep 55

In episode 55 of Inside Covid-19, global medical heavyweight UCT's Dr Linda-Gail Bekker shares her wisdom about the pandemic – and how little we still know; tobacco industry insider Azeem Carim exposes how cigarette manufacturers are making massive profits during SA’s Covid-19 inspired ban on legal sales; we hear from the Rockefeller Foundation’s MD of Pandemic Response on how the leaders should adjust their pandemic messaging to be better heard by an increasingly restive public; and with Gilead’s drug Remdesivir attracting a huge order from the US Government, Big Pharma is jumping on an opportunity to transform its profit gouging reputation. - Alec Hogg

Ep 54

Inside Covid-19: SA link in AI model to help fight virus; Lessons from the US's record setting second wave. Ep 54

In Episode 54 of Inside Covid-19, some expert insight (and good news) as SA hits number five among the world's new daily infection table; a global South African tech guru breaks new ground on the coronavirus with an agent-based artificial intelligence model; there’s bad news for restaurant owners worldwide as at least 25% are expected to never re-open; and another brilliant investigation by our partners at the Wall Street Journal – this time into why infections in the hard-hit USA are back at new record levels – and what other countries like South Africa can learn from it. - Alec Hogg

Ep 53

Inside Covid-19: Lessons for SA from NY on what NOT to do; Tech savvy ways to work from home; Keeping oldies safe. Ep 53

In episode 53 of Inside Covid-19, some surprising results of the swing to working from home as previously resistant older people are taking to tech as never before; we revisit the growing scandal around SA insurers refusing to honour Business Interruption cover with the owner of an 81 year old Drakensberg resort; SA can learn from a Seattle old age home on how to keep elderly patients safe; and a quite brilliant expose from our partners at the Wall Street Journal who have been digging deeply into what happened in New York, providing a case book of what NOT to do when dealing with a novel coronavirus. - Alec Hogg

Ep 52

Inside Covid-19: SA's plans to overcome R341bn pandemic bill; Exercise habits change in lockdown; Prof Veller. Ep 52

In episode 52 of Inside Covid-19, you’ll notice a significant change as we’ve edited the interviews into highlights and with it shortened the length of the podcast. Interviews featured in this podcast are available in full separately via the website or App. In this episode, South Africa’s Supplementary Budget quantifies the cost to taxpayers of the pandemic at a net R341bn – we’ll examine the why, what and where to from here with contributions from finance minister Tito Mboweni; National Treasury director general Dondo Mogajane; and Stanlib chief economist Kevin Lings. Also in this episode, another kind of quantification, this time from Vitality’s wellness chief on how exercise habits have changed in lockdown, and we hear from the professor leading the local testing of Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine. - Alec Hogg

Ep 51

Inside Covid-19: Pandemic exclusives - ours with Dr Salim Karim, WSJ's with Donald Trump. Ep 51

In episode 51 of Inside Covid-19 there’s an update on South Africa’s war against the coronavirus from the country’s designated expert Dr Salim Abdul Karim; we hear about insurers that are refusing to settle billions in business interruption claims; there’s a look back to the Black Death and the Spanish Flu to try understand what the economy will look like after the pandemic; and we go inside the Oval Office with the exclusive interview our partners at the Wall Street Journal held with US president Donald Trump on the pandemic. - Alec Hogg

Ep 50

Inside Covid19: Discount exchange rate for offshore investors; Lockdown's US Day Trading boom for Sasol. Ep 50

In episode 50 of Inside Covid-19, coronavirus-inspired South Africans seeking diversification abroad can now buy into portfolios run by the world’s biggest investment houses at a discounted exchange rate; we have a look at the lockdown inspired day trading boom in the US, and then consider its local implications with David Shapiro - including a five-fold surge in the Sasol share price; and end up going to Germany to discover how to spot a fake or shoddy Covid-19 protective mask. - Alec Hogg

Ep 49

Inside Covid-19: Good news for well run businesses; Sun International; More on dexamethasone. Ep 49

In episode 49 of Inside Covid-19, good news if you’re a careful driver or have a well-run small business; why remote doctor consults (telemedicine) is here to stay; an update on the search for an effective way to identify those with Covid-19 antibodies; the CEO of Sun International explains what the opening up of hotels means for the group on whom 20,000 livelihoods depend; and we take another look at Dexamethasone, the anti-inflammatory drug made in South Africa by Aspen Pharmacare, which is being hailed globally as a breakthrough saving the lives of 30% of critically ill coronavirus patients during a large trial in the UK. - Alec Hogg

Ep 48

Inside Covid-19: SA ends three month lockdown; Discovery's Adrian Gore; Aspen on "wonder drug" dexamethasone. Ep 48

Episode 48 of Inside Covid-19 is highlighted by the effective ending of South Africa’s lockdown of almost three months. In an address to the nation this evening President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that previously closed business sectors such as sitdown restaurants, hotels, hairdressers, spas and even cinemas and casinos will re-open soon, albeit with strict social distancing guidelines. Also coming up, we visit with Discovery CEO Adrian Gore and get the inside track on excitement around the 80 year old drug Dexamethasone, produced by Durban headquartered Aspen, after a 4,500 person Oxford University trial showed it delivered a 30% drop in mortalities among Covid-19 patients. There’s scary news out of South America which is now officially the world’s new coronavirus hotspot, we hear how restaurants which have opened elsewhere have had to adjust, and speak to Vumacam’s CEO Ricky Croock about the way criminals have adjusted to the new normal. - Alec Hogg

Ep 47

Inside Covid-19: SA Govt-favoured Stiglitz, Piketty on paying for pandemic: tax the wealthy and digital titans. Ep 47

In episode 47 of Inside Covid-19 we hear fresh and (if you're rich) some rather frightening ideas from rock star economists Joe Stiglitz and Thomas Piketty on how countries should pay the bill for the war against the pandemic: a blanket 25% levy on multinationals especially tax dodging tech titans; a wealth tax of between 6 and 8% on assets of the world’s rich; and a hike in the marginal tax rate to 90% on the earnings of the super rich. Also tonight, our London correspondent Linda van Tilburg shares context on stories from our partners on a surge in India’s infections; why a flu jab may help ward off a Covid-19 infection - although not in the way you may think – and sensible reasons why wearing a mask when you’re out and about is just like having your seatbelt on in the car. And we close off tonight’s programme with a plea to the government from SA’s Tourism Business Council for its members to test their Covid-19 precautions on domestic tourists and prove that in September they will be safe to honour foreign bookings worth R120bn. - Alec Hogg

Ep 46

Inside Covid-19 - Business confidence plunge; pandemic changes banking habits; UFS virus tracking breakthrough. Ep 46

In episode 46 of Inside Covid-19, South Africa’s business confidence index falls to an almost impossibly low 5 points of a potential 100; we explore the change in banking behaviour with spending plummeting and savings rising; a University of Free State breakthrough in measuring viral loads of sewerage that will aid management of outbreaks by location; also, we hear about what will be needed for SA to attract foreign direct investment post the pandemic; and highlights of today’s Biznews webinar with political economy specialists Moeletsi Mbeki and Jakkie Cilliers. - Alec Hogg

Ep 45

Inside Covid-19: Moneycraft advice for the 89% of SAs worrying about paying bills; Habana steps up for sportsmen. Ep 45

In episode 45 of Inside Covid-19, some solid practical moneycraft advice during a time when 89% of South Africans are worried how they’re going to pay their bills; we hear from the Chinese owners of Village Main Reef on challenges the pandemic has brought for its deep level mines that are now in care and maintenance; retired rugby superstar Bryan Habana helps fellow athletes find a way to overcome the issues flowing from the pandemic; and insights into why coronavirus mortalities in some nations is far lower than others. - Alec Hogg

Ep 44

Inside Covid-19: SA, Cape infections, deaths in perspective; Schools re-opening global experience. Ep 44

In episode 44 of Inside Covid-19 we examine the Western Cape’s infection and mortality rates, compare them with experiences elsewhere; after schools opened today, we take a close look at how this impacted the spread of the coronavirus in other countries; highlights from a fascinating interview with Stellenbosch University epidemiologist Dr Jo Barnes who warns against believing Pollyanna forecasts for SA; we visit Madrid which reopened restaurants and café’s today and take heart from experiences elsewhere in Europe where life is slowly returning to normal. - Alec Hogg

Ep 43

Inside Covid-19: Assessing the lockdown regulation judgement; Tygerberg braces for new spike. Ep 43

In episode 43 of Inside Covid-19, some practical do’s and don’ts for families whose children are returning to school next week; the High Court judgement forcing Government to recant on many lockdown regulations; we eavesdrop on SA Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago talking to a foreign audience; the Cape’s Tygerberg hospital is bracing for a fresh spike; and part two of our Biznews colleague Chris Bateman’s tale of living with cancer during the age of Covid-19. - Alec Hogg

Ep 42

Inside Covid-19: Back to schools advice for families; Transparency please on SA mortality projections. Ep 42

In episode 42 of Inside Covid-19, with schools set to re-open on Monday, there’s professional advice on how families can minimize virus-related risks this will introduce; actuarial body PANDA wants Government’s official coronavirus mortality modellers to share their assumptions after their projections have proved consistently inflated; we share the intensely personal experience of living with cancer during Covid-19 with our Biznews colleague Chris Bateman; and hear from New York University professor Scott Galloway who is proposing a Corona Corps of young Americans wanting to help fight the virus in Africa. - Alec Hogg

Ep 41

Inside Covid-19: Why we need a testing pivot; Singing Gauteng GPs send message of hope. Ep 41

In episode 41 of Inside Covid-19, we take a look at why South Africa’s testing regime is changing to take account of recent learnings; we hear the voices of 30 Gauteng doctors sending an unusual message of hope to South Africa; there’s an analysis of why people in sunnier climates fight off Covid-19 better; the IMF’s number two tells us why the global lender of last resort is well positioned to help countries like SA overcome the financial cost of fighting the pandemic; and we pop into the education minister’s discussion with the media on why schools didn’t open today as planned. - Alec Hogg

Ep 40

Inside Covid-19: ANC's economic recovery plan; SA's 1.5 Reproduction rate (Rt) shows worse to come. Ep 40

In episode 40 of the Inside Covid-19 podcast, ANC Top Six member Paul Mashatile tells the UK's prestigious Chatham House that South Africa’s post pandemic economic strategy is an updated and sharpened version of the Reconstruction and Development Plan of the 1990s; Discovery’s chief actuary unpacks the relevance of South Africa’s Covid-19 Reproduction or R Rate which is around 1.5; we investigate the quest to find a rapid and cheap coronavirus test; and have a look at how Boeing and Airbus expect to make it safe to fly – without catching the virus. - Alec Hogg

Ep 39

Inside Covid-19: R249pm medical aid for 1.2m household workers; Black tobacco farmers say Govt supporting crooks. Ep 39

In episode 39 of Inside Covid-19, Discovery and its partners combine to provide a R249 per month medical aid for 1.2m household workers; an emotional chairman of the country’s black tobacco farmer association who says his members are being put out of business by a Government whose cigarette ban supports criminals; Biznews's partners at the Wall Street Journal get the real story on why Donald Trump is sterilising the World Health Organisation; and in the wake of Covid-19 and president Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for a $200bn debt standstill for Africa, we take a close look at mushrooming Emerging Market loans. - Alec Hogg

Ep 38

Inside Covid-19: Iconic Dr William Haseltine's advice for SA; Logic from Actuarial Prof Roseanne Harris. Ep 38

In episode 38 of Inside Covid-19, we meet former Harvard Medical Professor William Haseltine, the HIV/Aids pioneer who has forthright suggestions on the steps SA should take to handle the pandemic; talk coronavirus with the super achieving Wits Prof Roseanne Harris who is about to become president of the International Actuarial Association; and revisit the chequered history of lockdowns which, in the West, only became official policy in 2006. - Alec Hogg

Ep 37

Inside Covid-19: Expert insights into tough road ahead for SA; PMB's life-saving ventilators drowning in red tape. Ep 37

In episode 37 of Inside Covid-19, on a day when South Africa’s confirmed infections rose above 19,000, Discovery’s chief actuary Emile Stipp and Prof Guy Richards, a critical care expert from Wits, assess the country’s tough road ahead; we revisit the Maritzburg ventilator-making company and find out its offer to produce the much needed life-saving equipment is being drowned in a sea of red tape; there are baby steps for a travel sector that was paralysed by coronavirus lockdowns; and an analysis of the role of super-spreading events like music concerts and soccer games. - Alec Hogg

Ep 36

Inside Covid-19: Small business says: Treat us like adults; 25% insurance premium rebated; Moderna. Ep 36

In episode 36 of Inside Covid-19, the Small Business Institute expects a major opening of the economy soon; Discovery Insure is rebating 25% of its members’ April premiums; We ask whether coronavirus killed open plan offices?; Donald Trump’s hydroxychloroquine endorsement gets another fan – Elon Musk; top global political risk consultancy Eurasia says multinationals are fretting about South Africa’s dimmed economic prospects; and we take a close look at Moderna, the company whose promising Covid-19 vaccine tests sent the price of US stocks – and oil – soaring. - Alec Hogg

Ep 35

Inside Covid-19: First successful vaccine; DA tackles lockdown "irrationality"; Prof exposes cig "disaster". Ep 35

A bumper edition of Inside Covid-19 with good news as the first human coronavirus vaccine tests deliver promising results while other medical treatments are being uncovered at a rapid clip; DA leader John Steenhuisen explains why SA’s official opposition political party is going to court to stop what it calls "lockdown irrationality"; we hear from the UCT prof whose research shows the cigarette ban has been a disaster for everyone except the underworld; concerns that SA’s 7,000 sit-down restaurants and the 1m people they support face impossible odds of survival if current regulations continue; and as the lockdown slowly eases in SA, nations around the world are fretting about a possible second wave of infections. - Alec Hogg

Ep 34

Inside Covid-19: Cyril speech highlights; Vitality clarity on Comair flights; Levitt's SA scorecard. Ep 34

In episode 34 of Inside Covid-19, we have highlights from Cyril Ramaphosa's address on the easing in South Africa's lockdown regulations; answers for the millions of Vitality members wondering whether Comair going into business rescue means the end of their cheap flights; South Africa’s only living Nobel prizewinning scientist Prof Michael Levitt’s scorecard on how his former homeland is handling the crisis; a crisis of a different kind as Airbnb entrepreneurs – who own 22,000 properties in Cape Town alone - struggle to stay afloat; and the invasive measures companies are applying on the office and home lives of their workers. - Alec Hogg

Ep 33

Inside Covid-19: Fake news explosion; A chairman's retail, logistics insights; Tongaat R5.35bn sale under threat. Ep 33

In episode 33 of Inside Covid-19, South Africa’s leading social media lawyer explains why fake news has been surging in the coronavirus crisis; the chairman of Grindrod and Spar explains why lockdown’s Level 4 needs to be dropped – and urgently; Barloworld uses Covid-19 to try pull out of a R5.35bn potentially life-saving deal for Tongaat; worrying news from New York where previously rare coronavirus-related Kawasaki disease is hitting children; and our partners at Bloomberg argue that the world needs a probe into US president Donald Trump’s often stated theory that Covid-19 started in a Wuhan lab. - Alec Hogg

Ep 32

Inside Covid-19: Good health best virus shield; Manuel calls out lockdown "irrationality"; Dr Otto home - Ep 32

In episode 32 of Inside Covid-19 we crunch some numbers with an actuary to find exercising regularly and eating healthily dramatically drops the prospect of being hospitalised for Covid-19; former finance minister Trevor Manuel joins a chorus calling for changes to some irrational lockdown regulations; we unpack organised business’s call to drop the lockdown level from 4 to 2; a Wits professor asks whether SA has indeed flattened the Covid-19 infection curve; and we catch up with the Bali-stranded SA doctor who has finally made it home to her four children. - Alec Hogg

Ep 31

Inside Covid-19: Credible, fact-based pleas to re-open SA's economy - from Tygerberg Hospital to Panda. Ep 31

In episode 31 of Inside Covid-19, an in-depth interview with neurosurgeon Prof Ian Vlok on Tygerberg Hospital’s Covid-19 robots – and why local medics believe the country needs to urgently open up; a warning by the actuaries at Panda that the unintended consequences of the lockdown will kill 29 times more people than the virus; how the new world of office work will be very different to the pre-Covid-19 norm; and a message to struggling companies from a business rescue practitioner who advises them to take the tough decisions sooner rather than later. - Alec Hogg

Ep 30

Inside Covid-19: Pressure growing to re-open economy as 17% GDP contraction looms; Thys du Toit's plea - Ep 30

In episode 30 of Inside Covid-19, granular research by Business4SA concludes the economy could contract by a staggering 17% this year; we hear from money manager Thys du Toit whose plea to the president to open up the country went viral; a UK professor explains why our species has become so obsessed with fake news in this time of coronavirus; and growing evidence that in Africa, virus-instigated lockdowns do more harm than good. - Alec Hogg

Ep 29

Inside Covid-19: Adrian Gore - this is the future; Sygnia's road to part owning world's hot vaccine. Ep 29

In episode 29 of Inside Covid-19, a brilliant commentary by Discovery’s co-founder Adrian Gore who opens a window into our post-coronavirus future - one with plenty of bright spots; Sygnia’s founder Magda Wiercyzka explains how her company became the biggest individual shareholder in Oxford University’s Covid-19 vaccine; we find out how the cruiseliner industry spread and hid the coronavirus; and look at the way consumer brands are betting on whether new shopping habits are here to stay. - Alec Hogg

Ep 28

Inside Covid-19: Back to School a whole new virus ballgame; Houses to drop 10-20% on re-opening; Good drug news - Ep 28

In episode 28 of Inside Covid-19; a whole new ball game with heightened infection risks as SA children return to schools; House prices set to take a 10-20% hit when market reopens; Africa’s low infection rates are no reason for complacency; A nasty lockdown side-effect as mental illnesses, addictions on the rise; and promising developments on the drug front from AstraZeneca and Gilead. - Alec Hogg

Ep 27

Inside Covid-19: SA's infections, deaths jump most in a day, peak only expected Sept; Wuhan revisited; Shiller. - Ep 27

In episode 27 of Inside Covid-19, we feature a wide ranging interview with Dr Jonny Broomberg, CEO of Vitality Health International, who says the data from all over the world says we’re right to fear Covid-19 and SA’s precautions are no overkill but fully justified; also, more on the way the coronavirus is exposing unsustainable societal fractures; Nobel prize winner Bob Shiller explores the impact of Covid-19 inspired fear on the human psyche; and a look at what Wuhan shows our cities will be like in future. - Alec Hogg

Ep 26

Inside Covid-19: Overcoming dilemma of staff using public transport; Three lost years, 2m jobs for SA economy - Ep 26

In episode 26 of Inside Covid-19, how to address the public transport dilemma with Friday's lockdown easing; an economist explains how Covid-19 will effectively mean the SA business activity stands still for three years; an update on vaccines and a warning from Prof Alan Whiteside; an update, too, on widely touted anti Covid-19 drugs whose trials have failed; and a Government press conference detailing help for tourism companies, small businesses and spaza shops. - Alec Hogg

Ep 25

Inside Covid-19: Level 4 toolbox for businesses; Chris Bateman's story; HSRC: How SAs have been hit - Ep25

Episode 25 of Inside Covid-19 is dominated by the easing of lockdown restrictions dominates; we have a moving discussion from Biznews colleague Chris Bateman who explains why being infected with Covid-19 is a likely death sentence for himself and other immune suppressed people; also the HSRC report on what the lockdown has done to SA; UK prime minister Boris Johnson and his nation’s fight against the invisible mugger; and why it takes so long to recover after being forced onto a ventilator. - Alec Hogg

Ep 24

Inside Covid-19: Level 4 from May; BCG clinical tests Monday; UIF pays 30%; Chilling view from ICU frontline. - Ep 24

In episode 24 of Inside Covid-19, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa lays down the post-lockdown rules; a 500 person clinical test on BCG vaccines kicks off next week; 75 000 people contribute R2.6bn into the Solidarity Fund; low but rapidly growing UIF disbursements; and a chilling end to the episode as an ICU doctor shares how she and colleagues are preparing for the possibility that 20% of them will die from the coronavirus when the infection wave hits SA. - Alec Hogg

Ep 23

Inside Covid-19: Office life after lockdown; Vaccine tests begin; Oil explained; Connecting schoolkids - Ep 23

In episode twenty three of Inside Covid-19 we open a window into what it’s going to be like going into the office post-lockdown; revisit the Oxford University prof who promised a coronavirus vaccine this year – with human trials starting tomorrow; speak to a London oil trader who explains why virus-impacted crude oil traded at minus $40 a barrel; we share a model for how parents can pull together to help internet-deprived school kids keep up; and reasons why the US’s Covid-19 infection plateau may have been reached. – Alec Hogg

Ep 22

Inside Covid-19: Cyril's R500bn war chest; Soccer City becoming 1500 bed hospital; UCT Class of '93; Sweden – Ep 22

In episode twenty two of Inside Covid-19, highlights of South African president Cyril Ramaphosa historic R500bn Coronavirus Budget; we hear from the architects commissioned to transform Soccer City into a 1 500 bed hospital; an architect of a different kind, Sweden’s scientific advisor who has taken the Scandinavian country away from the lockdown approach of the rest of the world; and two impassioned voices calling for an end to SA’s economic confinement – the spokesman for UCT’s Medical School class of 1993, and Dr Theuns Eloff, former CEO of the FW de Klerk Foundation. – Alec Hogg

Ep 21

Inside Covid-19: What comes after lockdown ends; Stanford's sceptical Dr B; Clem Sunter; Virus sniffing dogs – Ep 21

In Episode 21 of Inside Covid-19 we look the end of a lockdown that costs SA R13bn a day, considering how that's likely to happen; also, the Stanford University prof whose research suggests Governments have massively overreacted to the virus; a counter of sorts from SA’s leading scenario planner Clem Sunter; and on a lighter note, how man’s best friend may end up saving the world from a confused post lockdown future – with sniffer dogs being trained to identify those who are Covid-19 positive. – Alec Hogg

Ep 20

Inside Covid-19: Two month medical aid holiday; Jakkie Cilliers' reality check for SA; How Covid-19 started – Ep 20

In episode twenty of Inside Covid-19, a two month medical aid holiday for hundreds of thousands of companies, individuals; reality check of how the lockdown is affecting poor people; evidence that Black Americans and Brits are harder hit by Covid-19; and an in-depth report on how the coronavirus made the jump from animals to humans. – Alec Hogg

Ep 19

Inside Covid-19: In-depth with B4SA's Nicolau, Zoom's CEO; Gradual lockdown easing; Free consults; Germany – Ep 19

In episode nineteen of Inside Covid-19, the first easing of the lockdown in South Africa; in-depth interviews with the leader of Business4SA's Covid-19 public healthcare stream and with the founder of the suddenly popular video conferencing company Zoom; a good start for the free online consulting service; and lessons from Germany which has started to ease restrictions on its citizens. – Alec Hogg

Ep 18

Inside Covid-19: View from the ICU; What Would Mandela Advise SA; Trump pulls WHO plug – Ep 18

Episode eighteen of Inside Covid-19 is a very special edition with a couple of ICU inmates – one local, another from New York - and the icon's long time PA Zelda le Grange sharing What Would Madiba Advise. We'll also hear how Vodacom is investing hundreds of millions right now to ensure its network can handle a 50% surge in lockdown data traffic. Plus US President Donald Trump’s explanation for suspending financial support to the World Health Organisation. – Alec Hogg

Ep 17

Inside Covid-19: Lockdown eating, drinking and mental health; Capitec transforms; DoH on why SA beating odds - Ep 17

In episode 17 of Inside Covid-19, some practical advice on why it is a really good idea to eat properly during lockdown (and how smokers and drinkers can overcome cold turkey); Capitec’s CEO on how his bank is transforming for the new world of work; and highlights from Monday night’s lengthy Health Ministry update where evidence was provided to explain why South Africa is doing so well in its war against Covid-19. – Alec Hogg

Ep 16

Inside Covid-19: Mental wellness in lockdown; Respirators from PMB; Remdesivir; Zoomlash - Ep 16

In episode sixteen, a bumper post-long-weekend edition of Inside Covid-19, features how to maintain mental health during lockdown; insights from two editors who are also specialists in the spread of infectious disease; our regular update from global health and HIV expert Prof Alan Whiteside; the Pietermaritzburg company that’s ready to restart making respirators after corruption forced them to abandon the line 17 years ago; a Zoomlash after the hugely popular video conferencing tool becomes a hack-fest; and the race to discover effective treatment against Covid-19 after a promising 53 person trial for remdesivir. – Alec Hogg

Ep 15

Inside Covid-19: Global Crisis expert frets for Africa; Hotel rooms for confinement; NY Doctor's story. - Ep 15

In episode fifteen of Inside Covid-19, a sobering interview with the head of a 50 year old global crisis support organisation; an innovative partnership struck to prepare for the infection wave expected to hit South Africa soon; a frank account from a doctor treating Covid-19 patients in New York; an update on UK prime minister Boris Johnson; and how the pandemic is not only changing the world of work, but medicine too. – Alec Hogg

Ep 14

Inside Covid-19: Allan Gray on market outlook; BoJo in ICU; Will BCG protect SA, lockdown be extended? - Ep 14

In episode 14 of the Inside Covid-19 podcast, Allan Gray’s view on the share market rebound – and the way ahead after the crash; Ron Whelan applies his mind to the major issues of the moment from protection by the BCG vaccine to whether SA's lockdown will continue beyond April 16th; we find out how a South African businesswoman stranded in Bali is running her business by cell phone; and bad news for the economy and property prices, as a 4.5% contraction is in prospect. – Alec Hogg

Ep 13

Inside Covid-19: Advice from Bill Gates after warning world 5 years ago; Cronje heartbreak; rare Queen's Speech - Ep 13

In episode thirteen of Inside Covid-19, we hear from Bill Gates, who five years ago warned policy makers to prepare for a pandemic like the one we’re now experiencing; there’s a harrowing but riveting interview with our regular correspondents whose healthy 50 year old cousin succumbed to Covid-19 on Friday night; and a rare address from Queen Elizabeth II, whose son and Prime Minister are both infected. – Alec Hogg

Ep 12

Inside Covid-19: NYIT's Dr Otazu on his research BCG may provide shield; How SA medics protect themselves - Ep 12

In episode 12 of our Inside Covid-19 podcast, much needed hope for South Africa’s fight against the virus as research from a top US university suggests the BCG vaccination against TB, administered in the country for the past 80 years, provides protection against Covid-19. More on that coming up, including an interview with assistant professor Dr Gonzalo Otazu, head of the NYIT research team whose paper is global reshaping thinking and has sparked a fresh wave of clinical trials. Also in this episode, a US-based South African is spearheading a drive to get a skin prick Covid-19 testing kit into the market and we go to Groote Schuur for a peek into how SA medics are preparing for the expected wave of coronavirus patients.

Ep 11

Inside Covid-19: Following the smart money; rock star economists on where we're heading - Ep 11

In episode eleven of Inside Covid-19, we hear how the smart money is playing the investment markets; a special treat as two rock star economists (Marianna Mazuccato and Martin Wolf) share how the world will change through Covid-19; the WHO shatters the myth of the virus only killing the elderly; a potential breakthrough in treatment through transfusions of the plasma of the previously infected; and smart investors are accumulating shares of Cloud and online retail companies.

Ep 10

Inside Covid-19: SA get free personal doctor consultations; Academics worry about impact when virus hits Africa - Ep 10

In episode ten of Inside Covid-19, we speak to Adrian Gore about a breakthrough partnership between Discovery and Vodacom which opens a line to free Covid-19 related medical consultations for all South Africans. The analysts at John Hopkins University, the go-to global tracker of the spread of the virus, are fretting about the tidal wave about to hit Africa. A Harvard Professor says the impact of the crisis on the economies of developing countries like SA is so dire that a debt standstill should be declared. – Alec Hogg

Ep 9

Inside Covid-19: Survivor's guide to working remotely; Promising drugs to fight the virus - Ep 9

In episode nine of Inside Covid-19 we take a look at some promising developments in the medicines used to fight the virus; hear from a specialist in the subject with 22 years of personal experience on how to survive being forced to work from home; and discover how Foodflow, an innovative Western Cape charity set up to address food insecurity, is doing so well it is now looking to expand to other parts of the country.

Ep 8

Inside Covid-19: China shows SA "normality" 10 weeks away; World loses $500bn in FDI - Ep 8

Welcome to episode eight of Inside Covid-19 where we get an on-the-ground report from Shanghai to assess the timeline for South Africa to get back to some normality, and hear from the United Nations that the virus has already wiped $500bn off foreign direct investment. Also in this episode, we get to feel how the lockdown is impacting informal entrepreneurs and join the press conference for an update on the country’s new Solidarity Fund. – Alec Hogg

Ep 7

Inside Covid-19: Hope soars for vaccine before year end; Percentages exaggerated? - Ep 7

In episode seven of Inside Covid-19 we feature an exclusive interview with the professor who is leading Oxford University’s team working around the clock to developing a vaccine. Prof Adrian Hill says one is now in sight and will probably ready for release before the end of the year. But the Ebola and malaria specialist frets that without changed behaviour, Covid-19 could wreak fearful damage in Africa. On a brighter note, numbers man Deon Gouws of Credo reckons infection numbers and mortality percentages are being exaggerated; and we close off with the #Staytheffhome campaign gaining ground in in the US. – Alec Hogg

Ep 6

Inside Covid-19: WC Premier on SA's first deaths; Many ignore Day One of lockdown - Ep 6

In episode six of Inside Covid-19, South Africa records its first deaths, two women in the Western Cape whose Premier Alan Winde tells us what happened and how prepared the province is for the coming onslaught. We’ll also hear about concerns from Discovery’s chief clinician that too many South Africans are not taking the lockdown seriously, but as our Biznews colleague in London shares, that’s not the case in the UK after prime minister Boris Johnson was confirmed as having the disease. Also in this episode, a Ted Talk guru on how to deal with lockdown-inspired anxiety, and the trade-off between lives and restarting economic activity. – Alec Hogg

Ep 5

Inside Covid-19: US Infections jump 46%; WSJ frets for Africa; how this will change us all - Ep 5

In a bumper Episode Five of this podcast series, we draw on Biznews's partner, the Wall Street Journal, for a report on a potential Covid-19 catastrophe in relatively defenceless Africa; Discovery SA’s chief Hylton Kallner explains how the reaction to this pandemic is sure to transform society; some good news for South Africans as a local company donates enough Chloroquine Phosphate to help 40 000 potential patients, a drug that has been effective in Asia to reduce hospital time for Covid-19 patients. Scientist Prof Alan Whiteside provides perspective on the latest developments, including the UK’s bet on antibody tests, and from Bloomberg on a day when US confirmed infections surge by 46% to almost 70 000, we hear of a New York City healthcare system that is on the verge of collapse. – Alec Hogg

Ep 4

Inside Covid-19: Best way to use next 21 days; infections pass 450,000; $2trn cash injection for USA - Ep 4

In this episode, stock markets surge to their best session since 1933 after the US throws trillions of dollars at its economy. The South African Reserve Bank has started to follow suit, and we’ll hear from a respected economist why this is a very good idea. On the other hand, not such a good idea is Donald Trump’s intention to reopen the US economy in three weeks as we hear about conditions on the ground in America’s virus epicentre, New York City. And on the local front, we get to grips with the 21 day lockdown and hear about how to use these three weeks to best effect. – Alec Hogg

Ep 3

Inside Covid-19: SA Govt praised for following China Way as its entrepreneurs adjust - Ep 3

This episode of Biznews's Inside Covid-19 podcast is twice as long as usual as we look back on the momentous lockdown announcement. Dr Jonathan Broomberg paints the global picture, highlighting why South African president Cyril Ramaphosa is receiving so many plaudits for Monday night’s announcement of a complete lockdown – and why, from an economic perspective, it took so much courage.

A couple of entrepreneurs follow him, with Bernard Swanepoel, wearing his Small Business Institute hat, and then Marc Wachsberger, founding CEO of The Capital, shares how he has adjusted the business to offset the impact of a virus that has laid much of the tourism and hospitality sector to waste. We also hear from experienced money manager Sam Houlie of RECM Counterpoint.

Ep 2

Inside Covid-19: Ramaphosa takes SA into lockdown; hope springs in Asia - Ep 2

In episode two of our daily podcast on the Covid-19 pandemic, we examine where South Africa is in the cycle in the wake of President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement of a three week lockdown where citizens are being confined to their home barracks until April 16. Also in this episode, a view from investment professionals that the war will be relatively short, perhaps only 90 days; more good news from the Asian front where the battle is clearly being won; and an on the ground report from our colleague in London.

Ep 1

Our new podcast - Inside Covid-19: Global infections pass 300 000, deaths over 13 000 - Ep 1

Welcome to Episode One of's new daily podcast that will keep you updated on the Covid-19 latest developments. In addition to the latest news, in this episode Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach helps us better understand the virus and how SA's leading health insurer is responding; there's heartening news from the US about an old malaria drug that is proving effective against this novel coronavirus; NinetyOne's CEO Hendrik du Toit explains why investors should approach this as they would a world war; and leadership guru Robin Sharma offers some sage philosophical advice.

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